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Chelsea Stuart‘s article posted on Huff Post Impact X, covers the story of Kenton Lee’s “The Shoe That Grows”, which is making a positive impact in the Third World. Chelsea Stuart is a recent graduate of Boston’s Emerson College and an Editor at Culture-ist, a media platform and a movement for social good that revolves around a global community of storytellers, travelers, dreamers and changemakers

This Nonprofit Created Something That Will Help Third World Countries Like Never Before

the shoe that grows, kenton lee, because international

Daily Staff Report| Vail Daily | 06/22/2015

In 2007, Kenton Lee was living and working in Nairobi, Kenya when he noticed just how many children in the community were either shoeless or wearing shoes that didn’t fit their feet. After working with kids in an AIDs orphanage and seeing how completely ineffective their footwear was, he spoke with the director of the orphanage who told him that while they received donations from the US, most children grew out of their shoes in as little as six months.

In 2009, Lee created Because International, “an organization with a new youthful voice and a fresh message of innovation to bring better help and hope to the world.” Soon after, his organization launched its first project, “The Shoe that Grows,” a shoe that adjusts to five different sizes and lasts for five years. Made of leather and compressed rubber (similar to that of a tire) the shoes are long lasting and help to protect children’s feet from soil transmitted diseases and parasites- a problem that affects over 2 billion people worldwide.

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The Shoe That Grows Epitomizes Innovation

When Kenton Lee saw the number of children in the Kenyan community and orphanage where he was working that either were wearing shoes that didn’t fit, or none at all, he felt compelled to do something and started Because International as a means to spread the idea of hope and a better world through innovation.  His first endeavor: The Shoe That Grows.


The amazing footwear adjusts to five different sizes and can last five years. It is an innovative and excellent solution to a serious problem affecting over 2 billion people across the world since it provides children the protection required to prevent them from picking up parasites and diseases when their bare feet touch the soil.

An Eye-opening Experience

Inspired to “open his eyes and heart,” Lee used his experience to think creatively about what could be done to make things better.  His belief that innovation was the key drove him to develop a solution which is changing the lives of children worldwide.

Nonprofits who want to truly help their constituents can learn from Kenton Lee’s The Shoe That Grows program and integrate innovation into everything they do in order to do it better.

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From “Unleashing Innovation: Using Everyday Technology to Improve Nonprofit Services” study by MAP for Nonprofits and Idealware

You can improve your innovation integration results when you:

  • Take a good look at what your organization is trying to accomplish and identify the things that can be improved.
  • Learn about technology, especially mobile technology and what is currently available to help nonprofits.
  • Connect the technology to your needs to better help your beneficiaries, improve operational efficiencies and boost fundraising effectiveness, like using mobile communications to reach more people, or crowdfunding to mobilize an army of individual fundraisers for your cause.
  • Ensure you have the resources available to develop, launch and sustain the improvements you decide to make.
  • Get the support of everyone in your organization to fully support and allow your improvements to move forward.

Innovation can be the key to your organization’s success, whether you’re looking to create brand new ways to help people like The Shoe That Grows, or are simply trying to find more cost effective ways of raising funds so you can better serve your cause.

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